Wilk, Problem Solvers Caucus announce series of bills to combat retail theft

Politics and government

News release 

As co-chair of the bipartisan California Problem Solvers Caucus, Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced he is coauthoring a series of bills that would help California tackle the rapid rise in retail theft. 

“Whether you’re a small business owner, or just going about your day running errands, you’ve felt the impacts of retail theft firsthand,” Wilk said in a news release. “There has to be more accountability. And as co-chair of the California Problem Solvers Caucus, I am glad to get behind these common-sense bills to put a stop in the revolving door of repeat offenders.” 

After a series of stakeholder meetings and internal discussion, Problem Solvers Caucus members have put forward the following to update and reform current retail theft statutes: 

• Assembly Bill 1787 (Assemblyman Carlos Villapudua, D-Stockton): Would allow for the prosecution of repeat theft-related offenses – regardless of accumulated property value – and would mandate the use of Drug Courts when appropriate, among other things. (Amendments pending.) 

• AB 1779 (Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks): Provides the authority to charge organized retail theft and other related incidents in one county superior court, even if some of the offenses occurred in multiple county jurisdictions. 

• AB 1972 (Assemblyman Juan Alanis, R-Modesto): Expands the definition of organized retail theft to include “cargo theft” to protect rail lines, shipping lanes and delivery trucks. 

• AB 2406 (Assemblywoman Laura Davies, R-Laguna Niguel): Establishes a new felony offense for individuals who coerce minors into committing theft-related crimes. 

• SB 928 (Sen. Roger Niello, R-Roseville): Eliminates the 2026 sunset established for the crime of organized retail theft. 

The goal of The Problem Solvers Caucus is to inform and advance larger Capitol efforts to understand and address retail theft reform. This includes ongoing efforts by the governor, the Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committees, the Assembly Select Committee on Retail Theft, the Little Hoover Commission, and the State Auditor’s Office, the release said. 

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